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Interfaces of the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from jaguar (Panthera onca) in favor of genetic and population conservation

Grant number: 20/03963-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2020
Effective date (End): January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Reproduction
Principal researcher:Fabiana Fernandes Bressan
Grantee:Gabriela Barbosa
Home Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/26818-5 - Investigation of cellular and molecular mechanisms on in vitro induced toti- and pluripotency acquisition - a translational approach, AP.JP

Abstract

Genetic diversity among populations contributes greatly to global biodiversity, influencing resilience of ecosystems to environmental change. Strategies for preserving animal biodiversity are usually focused on the environment and habitat (in situ), in rehabilitation programs and reintroduction of these animals in the population, or in studies aimed at preserving genetic material. This is a complex task that requires a multidisciplinary effort, where the main nucleus of animal conservation is the maintenance of genetic variability within populations, ensuring reproductive success and well-established populations. The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest feline in the Americas, and the only representative of the Panthera genus on this continent. It is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a vulnerable species. Habitat loss and fragmentation, mainly associated with agricultural expansion, urbanization and poaching, are the main threats to jaguar conservation. Some recent studies have reported advances in wildlife reproduction as a tool for understanding the reproductive biology and survival of species in their natural habitats, as well as directing future research that could lead to greater success in conservation biology. The creation of an iPS cell bank from somatic cells of individuals from Panthera onca represents a promising resource for studies related to reproduction and genetic and population conservation of the species. In addition, the generation of these cells allows for in vitro studies of disease models and therapies, which may, in the future, assist in the treatment of congenital or acquired infertility of animals of great genetic importance. The success in the induction of iPS cells to primordial germ cells, allows great advance in studies aimed at the conservation of genetic material of populations, where genetic variability is an extremely important factor when talking about specific conservation, since natural habitat destruction and the fragmentation of territories and populations may be promoting barriers to gene flow among existing populations.

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